Congress to address a host of pressing issues within the next few monthsBaltimore Post-Examiner

Congress to address a host of pressing issues within the next few months

WASHINGTON- Congress is expected to address a host of pressing issues within the next few months.

Last month lawmakers departed Washington for Christmas break without having found a comprehensive solution to many issues.

Congress managed to avoid a government shutdown by approving a continuing resolution (CR) that maintains funding at current levels through Jan. 19.

The legislation reauthorized FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) for the duration of the CR and also renewed funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

But the temporary fix leaves lawmakers with only a few weeks to forge a more comprehensive funding agreement.

Passage of a budget or long-term spending bill could prove more complicated if Democrats request that any increase in defense spending be met with increases in domestic spending as a precondition for their support.

Democrats may also request that a DACA fix be included in any proposal to keep the government funded.

The Trump Administration in September announced its intention to phase out DACA within six months.

Since that time the White House has maintained that support for any legislation protecting DACA recipients would depend upon an agreement to crack down on sanctuary cities, end chain migration and allocate funds to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Democrats oppose all three proposals. However, both House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have said that they are willing to work with Democrats to find a bipartisan solution prior to the program’s expiration.

Congress in the near future is expected to consider legislation that would maintain Obamacare Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR) subsidy payments through 2019.

The Senate bipartisan proposal, known as the Alexander-Murray bill, is expected to eventually pass the upper chamber. But the legislation could experience problems in House, as many conservative Republicans are weary of any attempt to revive Obamacare.

President Trump last fall issued an executive order terminating CSR payments.

His decision was in part based on a Supreme Court decision that ruled continuing the payments would be unconstitutional because Congress had not allocated the funds.

Congress may also consider a comprehensive infrastructure bill in the near future pursuant to Trump’s campaign promise to reinvigorate domestic manufacturing.

This article is republished with permission from Talk Media News 

About the author

Bryan Renbaum

Bryan is a reporter and political columnist with Baltimore Post-Examiner and has broken multiple stories involving athletic scandals. He has been interviewed by ABC's Good Morning America as well as Baltimore area radio stations. Bryan has both covered and worked in the Maryland General Assembly and is extremely knowledgeable of politics, voting patterns and American history. In addition to his regular duties, Bryan freelances for several publications and performs investigative research. He has a B.A. in Political Science. Contact the author.

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